Year after year the number and severity of storms that threaten the US seems to grow. Since when and how a storm may threaten our area is out of our control, we need to focus on the things we can manage.
The key to weathering a storm is preparation. Unlike other disasters like earthquakes, tornados, and even fires, we get sufficient time to get ready when a storm threatens. You can get started in May (or even a little earlier) by taking some of these steps:
- Clean out your rain gutters and culverts
- Prune your trees and remove dead palm fronds and branches
- Prepare for storm shutter installation by checking your supplies and testing your equipment
- Start preparing for power outages by
- Collecting ice and freezing ice packs
- Starting your generator and tuning it up
- Filling gas cans and propane tanks
- Check your inventory of batteries, flashlights, and non-perishable foods and drinks
- Begin stocking your shelves
- Make sure your important documents are accessible and safely stored in watertight containers
But even with all this done, the most important thing you can do to ensure your safety and that of your family is to MAKE A PLAN!
- Will you shelter in place or evacuate?
- When should you leave?
- Where will you go?
- How will you get there?
- What will you take with you?
- What about your pets?
Take some time with your family to answer these questions. Then pack an emergency kit (see link below for information). Check out your local Emergency Management website to learn more about local shelters and what you need to bring if you go.
They say the only sure things in life are death and taxes, but in Southwest Florida, threats from tropical weather rank right up there with them. PBS cares about you and our community. Please take the time to plan for your safety. When everyone does their part, we build better lives for our community.